Falkirk gas drilling firm angry at ‘scare tactics’

Campaigners have warned of pollution in the Firth of Forth. Picture: Neil Hanna
Campaigners have warned of pollution in the Firth of Forth. Picture: Neil Hanna
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THE energy firm hoping to drill for gas in the Central Belt has accused the green lobby of trying to whip up the fears of residents with “scare tactics”.

Amid controversy over efforts to extract so-called unconventional gas underground, Dart Energy last night claimed it was being smeared by environmental groups opposed to all fossil fuels.

Those bodies hit back last night, saying plans to extract billions of cubic feet of gas from underneath the Falkirk region would pollute the environment far more than importing natural gas from abroad.

They also warned that the Firth of Forth would be polluted by the plans, which require millions of gallons of water, trapped underground, to be pumped to the surface and deposited in the estuary.

The row follows protests in the West Sussex town of Balcombe over exploratory plans to “frack” rock to release gas. Dart’s plan does not involve fracking, but requires a series of wells to be drilled near Falkirk.

The plans have been put to the Scottish Government’s reporter for a decision and have raised objections from groups such as “Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas” and Friends of the Earth Scotland.

Submitting its response to the reporter yesterday, Dart claimed that an “anti-fossil fuel agenda” was behind the objections, and it accused green groups of “misrepresenting” their plans.

However, Ed Pybus, of campaigners Frack Off Scotland, said: “It is about trying to move away from the carbon economy and towards renew­ables. But there is massive environmental damage being caused by this as well. They are extracting millions of gallons of polluted water and dumping it in the Forth.”